Archive for February, 2012

Excellent article on IDEA – all cycling instructors please read this!

By Jennifer Sage On February 29, 2012 1 Comment

I just became aware of this excellent article from IDEA Health and Fitness Association on indoor cycling instruction. It’s by Martica Heaner, Ph.D. and is called A Smoother Ride. “Group Ex Skills & Drills: These 10 tips will motivate and inspire your indoor cycling class and keep people coming back for more.”

To me, the best part of the article is the Sidebar at the end. It is titled Technique: Know Your Stuff.

I left a ‘short’ comment. I want to support any person, club, program, publication or organization that promotes educated, sound instruction on an indoor bicycle that eschews unsafe and ineffective techniques like lifting weights, or doing pushups or crunches. My comment is below. Feel free to leave your comment on the IDEA page supporting their efforts to clean up indoor cycling and encouraging instructors to know their

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Yoga stretches for back pain – Bicycling magazine

By Jennifer Sage On February 28, 2012 No Comments

SpinningBicycling magazine posted a few good stretches that target the back, that are good for cyclists (and indoor cyclists I might add). Especially those who ride/teach almost daily. Look at the position we hold on the bike: hip flexion and rounded shoulders. That is why it’s always good to stretch in the opposite direction after every ride. Also make sure to keep your core and upper back muscles strong, through exercises done OFF the bike!

These stretches are also good for people who sit at a desk most of the day – which is what my days have become since starting ICA and writing content for the website, for this blog, for Active.com and other sources. Hmmm, that reminds me – maybe it’s time I stand up, stretch and go do some of these yoga poses!

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When to walk out of a Spinning® or Indoor Cycling class – my Twitter rant

By Jennifer Sage On February 25, 2012 19 Comments

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have noticed that I cracked a little bit last week. I hit my tolerance threshold for crappy Spinning® and Indoor Cycling classes and went on a rant about the prevalence of improper instruction in so many cycling classes around the world. I had spoken with too many instructors who told me stories like:

  • the fullest classes at my club are the ones where the instructor is having them do hovers, squats, pushups and crunches – the students have no idea! I have my own core group, but recently had a new person come in and asked why I didn’t do pushups or weights. When I explained they aren’t beneficial and only take away from your effectiveness on the bike, she walked out.
  • Management recently
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Cycling Shorts – read all about them

By Jennifer Sage On February 24, 2012 No Comments

Spinning shortsAs indoor cycling and Spinning® instructors, we are often asked about those silly looking lycra shorts. Your students may want to know if they need to get them. Depending on your market, they may or may not be the norm. They certainly are where I teach in Colorado, but I’ve been in some cities where it’s Lulu Lemon or nothing! Ouch; personally, I can’t imagine sitting on that saddle for very long without padded cycling shorts. It’s no wonder that these students protest when they have to sit longer than a minute or two.

But I digress…cycling shorts. Yes, I’ve turned many students on to them, and I’ve counseled instructors-to-be at certifications on how to wear them. Many new instructors (and new students) who aren’t cyclists do not realize that they are designed to be worn without underwear.

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The Truth About Indoor Cycling Cadence – Jennifer’s article on Active.com

By Jennifer Sage On February 24, 2012 6 Comments

SpinningThe following is an article Jennifer wrote for Active.com. To read the article on the Active.com website, click here. Please share the link (or this blog) with your students, program managers and instructor peers. As usual, your comments (both on the Active page and on this blog) are always appreciated!

The Truth About Indoor Cycling Cadence

As you peek into the door of many indoor cycling classes, or if you’ve watched some of the many “Spinning®” classes on Youtube or on television, often you will see frantic legs pedaling so fast it’s more like the roadrunner trying to escape Wile E. Coyote. Legs are blurring so fast you often cannot even see them. However, many students in typical indoor cycling classes do not have the skills to pedal quickly with

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Learn How to Conquer Back Pain and Improve Your Cycling (and Indoor Cycling)

By Jennifer Sage On February 22, 2012 4 Comments

I follow a couple of cycling podcasts and blogs, and I’m always impressed with what I hear and read at the Bicycle Lab. Here is an audio interview with the founder of the Bicycle Lab, Victor Jiminez, and the two authors of the book Foundation (Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain and Move With Confidence). The authors are Peter Park and Eric Goodman. I’d pay attention to what they are saying; Peter is Lance Armstrong’s Strength and Conditioning Coach! (Have you seen what Lance is up to lately? Only coming in second in the Panama Ironman 70.3 triathlon.)

On this article, there is also a video posted on a core exercise that targets the back.

We as indoor cycling instructors, as well as our students, especially those who teach or ride a lot, need a lot

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Keiser Cycling Certification March 3rd at Breathe Studio in Denver

By Jennifer Sage On February 15, 2012 No Comments

Keiser Master Trainer Angie Asmann is coming to Denver on March 3rd to conduct a Keiser cycling certification at Breathe Cycling and Yoga Studio in Denver. The training includes how to teach with Power on the Keiser M3s. I know so many instructors who teach on these bikes but do not yet know what to do with those watt numbers! If that’s you, and you are in Colorado, please come join us!

The certification is only $199. But there is an early bird special – if you sign up by February 20th, it’s only $175 ($24 off)

Click here to go to the Breathe Denver website to sign up. Click on Class Schedule and then click Teacher Training at the top. The certification is 11am to 6 pm, Saturday march 3rd. Breathe can be found at:

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My Valentines Playlist and Profile (hope I don’t cry)

By Jennifer Sage On February 14, 2012 1 Comment

Here is my Valentines Profile and Playlist

I am currently in the early stages of a periodized cycling clinic. We are working on leg speed drills in intervals trying to stay in Zone 3 (fully aerobic). You will notice the songs get gradually faster and faster. Within each song we will pedal quickly for 2/3 of the song, leaving about a minute or so to “recover” at a slower cadence. The faster we pedal, the more time they’ll need for a break. This is because when done correctly, pedaling quickly is fatiguing, and we are base building and working on efficiency. It does no good if you pedal quickly while relying on the flywheel to turn the legs, hence, I want them to have a bit of a rest before pedaling even

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“Spinning” and Core Training video (ummmm, not really…)

By Jennifer Sage On February 10, 2012 No Comments

A facility in Southern California called Studio Sweat has announced that it is going to start offering online streaming videos of its “Spinning” classes. They have several of them posted on their site. Here is one they call “SpinCore”.

Before you watch it, has anyone here taken the official “Spin® and Core” Continuing Education Course from Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning®? I used to teach it….and I have to say, it looks nothing like this……

I use “Spinning” above and in the title of this blog post very loosely – quoting their title on their video. The immediate problem is the blatant misuse of the Spinning® trademark when what they are doing is most certainly not Spinning®. If you are going to call something “Spinning” there are some very important criteria to adhere to,

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I’m coming to Pittsburgh – please join me in person or online

By Jennifer Sage On February 8, 2012 No Comments

Spinning classI will be at Cycling Fusion in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania February 17 teaching two classes that will once again be videoed for the Cycling Fusion digital class library. If you are local, you can attend these classes for FREE if you sign up in advance. We will once again stream the classes over the internet, but there will be a small fee for viewing.

The rides are the following (Times are EST, GMT – 5):
6:00- 7:00pm Progressive Meritage. This is a creative, high intensity interval class done in four sets. The first three sets are each a different position, the fourth set is a blend of all three – a meritage if you will! Within each set, the intervals get progressively longer. A great class for when your students

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